The Mailman Ate My TTC Application
I mailed my photo(s) and entry form for Top Truck Challenge 2010 to the address listed on the application in mid-November 2009. I am extremely disappointed to find it recently returned in the mail stamped as "nobody at the address." I checked the envelope, and my written address matches yours on the application. Did you relocate or was there a misprint. What are my options now?
Portage La Prairie, Manitoba
Sorry to say, not many. When we published the application last April, we were still located at our former offices in Los Angeles. When you mailed in your application, seven months later, we were in the process of relocating to our new digs, a few miles to the south in El Segundo. And yes, we had some difficulty getting a lot of our mail forwarded to us during the months of November and December. Why? We're not exactly sure, but basically, you (and quite a few other folks who tried to contact us during that period) were simply the victim of bad timing. There's not much we can do about it except to apologize for the inconvenience, and invite you to send in your application for TTC 2011. Our new address is 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245.
Explorer V-8 Swaps: Crunch the Numbers
In your Feb. '10 "Letters," Rellion Clark asked about a V-8 swap for his Ford Explorer. You suggested a 4.6L V-8, but Ford did not offer the 4.6 until later models. The V-8 for the '98-01 Explorers was the 5.0L. It was the GT40P engine offered in the H.O. Mustangs that was downsized with a smaller cam and injectors. It runs a roller cam, flat-top pistons, and comes straight out of the box with 9.0:1 compression. These were very easy to find and a well-kept secret out of Ford. If Mr. Clark can find a donor vehicle with a mass airflow sensor, the engine can be made a monster with a larger cam swap (E303) and bigger injectors, and with a little work he can add a Mustang supercharger kit that will make for one mean Explorer. I did the E303 cam and a high-rise aluminum intake with a 650cfm Holley in a '66 Bronco. It pushed 350 horsepower. Crunch the numbers.
Well, shucks. That 5.0L engine must have been a "well-kept secret" because we forgot all about it. Thanks for the correction.
Looking For Saginaw Rebuild Kit
Jay Kopycinski posted a tech article awhile ago titled "Smooth Steering" (Jan. '08). He mentioned that he purchased the rebuild kit from West Texas Off Road. Is there any contact information? I have tried looking for them and thought I found them, but there was no mention of rebuild kits on the websites I visited and no replies or people to talk to on the phones.
You can contact West Texas Off Road at 877/833-7464, westtexasoffroad.homestead.com. We can't say for certain whether they still offer this upgrade in kit form, but as it's largely made up of OE replacement parts, they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Earth Roamer: Who's Scooping Who?
You've got to be kidding me! Four Wheeler, the oldest off-road magazine around (correct me if I am wrong), and you get scooped on the Earth Roamer 2.0 built on the Wrangler Rubicon (Jan. '10)? I read about the same build in Car and Driver last month! This is not the first time, either. Just off the top of my head, I seem to remember the Dodge Power Wagon and the Ford Raptor both being covered there first. What gives?
Our bad. We actually had that Earth Roamer story in hand late last summer, but postponed publication until January due to reasons of space. (Car and Driver is a bigger magazine than we are, after all.) We're not sure about the Power Wagon, but we know for a fact that you're mistaken on the Raptor-our very own Sean P. Holman was the first journalist on the planet to learn about the then-secret SVT program in intimate detail, and he scooped the world on the development of the Raptor a couple of years ago at fourwheeler.com. So bottom line, when it comes to scoops, ya win some and ya lose some.